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Have you wondered how to make Halloween decorations around the house? More specifically how to decorate a skull for Halloween?

The entire theme for decorating our home for Halloween this year revolves around skeletons. We’ve created some pretty fun pieces of skeleton decor this year. From our DIY skeleton silhouettes for our family portraits, to easy DIY dollar tree skull napkin rings for your Halloween party.

We’ve even invited you to join us while we decorated our homes for Halloween so you have behind the scenes access to our decorating process. Mine of course is themed around skeletons. My parents home is all about Bats!

Today we wanted to share one last DIY Halloween decor idea with you, How To Make Bust Skull Decor.

And for more DIY Halloween decor ideas see 60 Spooky and Creative Halloween Decor Ideas.

Inspiration Skull Decor

skull decor

While my Mom and I were out picking up the last few decor pieces for Ellie’s bedroom makeover, we spotted these amazing skeleton busts! I immediately fell in love with them, but at $5o each I wasn’t about to take them home with me!

I almost took it as a challenge. How could I recreate these or make a copycat version to display in our home at a fraction of the cost?

Follow along as we share how you can recreate this awesome skull decor for Halloween this year for only $15! That’s a SAVINGS of 85%! CHA CHING! Money kept in my wallet!

Distressing The Skull Decor

skull decor

The first thing you’ll need to do is source out some skulls. I found these at Dollar Tree. So for $1 each you can’t beat that!

Here’s a look at the before, during and after process of distressing the skull decor.

This process is completely optional depending on the look you’re going for. We just love how the paint really accentuates all of the details on the skulls by distressing them.

skull decor
skull decor
skull decor

First apply 2 coats of white chalk paint to each skull.

We used Behr Chalk Paint that we had on hand from previous projects. But you can also get chalk paint in a spray can if you prefer that method to brushing.

Once the skull decor has completely dried, mix a dark gray paint with a good amount of water and mix well. The consistency should be pretty runny.

Use a small paint brush to apply the dark gray paint mixture over the entire surface of the skull. Then using a wet washcloth, wipe all of the excess paint off.

This will allow the darker paint to remain in all of the detailed areas of the skull decor creating more depth and dimension.

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Making The Neck Piece

skull decor

We’re big at using things we already have around the home. This neck piece came in a bag of bones I’ve had for years.

Being plastic I was able to cut it in half with a kitchen knife.

The neck pieces were also painted using the same distressing technique.

skull decor
skull decor

Next, a hole will need to be drilled in the bottom of each skull large enough for the neck piece.

I used a 1 1/4″ wood bit to drill each hole.

If you don’t have access to these tools, you can also use a pair of scissors. I did need to use the scissors to make the hole a little bit bigger to fit the neck piece inside.

skull decor

Fit the neck piece inside the hole and attach with hot glue.

skull decor
skull decor
skull decor

I found these jewelry busts at Hobby Lobby for about $7 a piece. (I also used a 40% off coupon on one, why not save a bit right?)

To make a hole in the top of the jewelry bust for the neck piece, pull back the velvet covering. Then use the drill to make the hole.

These are made out of cardboard, but it took some effort making this hole. You’ll definitely need the drill for this part!

Then use a pair of scissors to cut a hole in the velvet. Secure back into place with a hot glue gun.

Insert the neck piece and secure into place with hot glue.

Embellishing The Female Skull Decor

skull decor

You can embellish your skull decor any way that you’d like.

I wanted to mimic the Victorian style of my inspiration piece.

First I added a pearl gem onto a piece of black stretchy ribbon with hot glue.

(The gems are from Totally Dazzled. We’ve used these gems on SO many other DIY projects and love them! You can see our other projects here.)

skull decor

I used the same ribbon to make a headband for the female. Then I embellished it with some plum colored feathers.

skull decor
skull decor

To create the dress, I found scrap fabric from my wedding dress in my Mom’s stash of scraps! It creates the perfect touch for the Victorian feel.

The fabric was secured around the top edges of the jewelry bust with hot glue.

Trim excess fabric at the bottom to fold under the jewelry bust and secure with hot glue.

Embellishing The Male Skull Decor

skull decor

The male skull decor was embellished with a white collared shirt and necktie from the thrift store.

The shirt is size 2T and fit perfectly around the jewelry bust!

skull decor

Use fabric scissors to trim the collar away from the rest of the shirt. Place it around the jewelry bust and button closed.

skull decor
skull decor
skull decor

To create the ascot, cut about 7″ off the bottom of the necktie. Then cut another piece from the longer part of the necktie between 5″-6″.

At the wider part of the 5″-6″ piece, fold in half and cut on a diagonal to create a V point.

Fold the raw edges back about 1/4″ and secure down with hot glue.

skull decor
skull decor
skull decor

Make pleats on the top edges of both cut pieces of the necktie and secure with hot glue.

Line the smaller piece along the top edge of the larger piece and secure them together with hot glue.

Secure the ascot onto the collar with hot glue.

Embellish the ascot with another gem from Totally Dazzled with hot glue.

Making A Top Hat

skull decor
skull decor

To complete the male skull decor, embellish with a top hat.

Instead of spending the time hunting for a small top hat, I decided to create my own.

I found a small paper bucket at the thrift store and painted it black.

Once dried, I traced the bucket onto a piece of black card stock. Draw another circle about 1″ larger around the traced pattern.

skull decor
skull decor

Cut the outer circle to create the rim of the top hat.

Then cut a small hole in the center of the paper.

Cut slits about every 1/4″ or so around the inner edges up to the traced pencil line.

Fold the slit pieces of paper toward the pencil mark.

This will allow you to fold the rim of the hat inside the bucket and glue into place.

To embellish the top hat, I secured a strip of rhinestone mesh ribbon from Totally Dazzled around the rim of the hat with hot glue.

Copycat Skull Decor

skull decor

Don’t they look darling?!

I love the way they turned out!

I know they don’t look exactly the same as my inspiration piece, but that’s whats fun about making your own, you can make them any way you want!

And I’d much rather create new Halloween decor for $15 rather than spend $100 on prefab skull decor!

What do you think? Are you going to make these copycat bust skull decor for your Halloween decor this year? How will you embellish yours? What style will they be?

Make sure to comment below, we love hearing from you!

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skull decor

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Shirkey

    This is just too cool! I can’t seem to get enough of what you are doing for Halloween. Eight years ago I moved into my forever home and I don’t get one single child for trick or treat. It breaks my heart as I’ve always had so much fun scaring the dickens out of them…lol. I would love to have them here but since I don’t, I go to my g/f house every year so I can still watch the kids faces. It’s not the same because she doesn’t decorate or try to have fun with them but I guess that part of my life will have to remain as is. Gives me more time to create and decorate for the other holidays ahead. I still miss it though ☹️ You all are doing a great job with your displays and I’m getting my thrill too!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Shirley, I’m sorry you don’t get the fun of trick or treaters in your new home. When we moved into our home 6 years ago, we were warned by our neighbors that our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween and to expect 500 trick or treaters. They were not kidding! Our subdivision is called “Sleepy Hollow” and the neighborhood has rallied to make it really spooky. It’s like one huge block party, from super fun decor, spook alleys and fire pits brought out into the driveway so we all can mingle and enjoy the holiday. Every year someone dresses up like the headless horseman and rides up and down the street. Children come from all over the country to trick or treat here. We love it! It’s such a fun holiday!

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